Thursday, February 7, 2019

Don’t Snooze on This One

I just want to sleep. My alarm went off at five am, as it always does, and I just want to sleep. I’m already pausing between sentences to close my eyes. “I don’t really have to write,” that little voice inside my head tells me. I could take a day off. I could run an old post. My eyes close again.

What’s on my mind this morning? This:

On January 31st, five members of Start School Later Howard County testified at the Budget Hearing to ask for the necessary transportation money to ensure healthy, safe, and age-appropriate school hours for ALL Howard County Students.

If the BOE doesn't ask for transportation money, neither the County executive, nor the County Council can fund improving school hours.  Please email the board at BOE@HCPSS.ORG to add your voice to the discussion.

 If you agree that our students deserve safe and humane school hours, you can write them and urge them to include funding for the necessary transportation in their budget.

From Start School Later Howard County:

The public is able to submit written testimony until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019, at BOE@HCPSS.ORG. 

I wrote about this two years ago in “Minutiae”.

Early school start times and the resulting sleep deprivation are linked to chronic tardiness, discipline problems, more motor vehicle crashes, obesity, depression, illicit drug use, lower academic outcomes, and a lower over-all quality of life. Study after study shows that no one should be starting school before 8:00, and that most teens do better with an 8:30 start time. 

We say we would do anything for our kids. We love them. But then we wonder if getting up at an ungodly hour is just one of the rite-of-passage things we need to let them go through.

The science on this issue is clear. We need to align our priorities with the needs of our kids. If you agree, send the BOE a note. 

And now I’m going to close my eyes for two  minutes before I I have to wake my family.

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